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Lawyer: Man in California train stabbing unfit for trial

December 20, 2018

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A lawyer for a 28-year-old transient charged with stabbing to death 18-year-old Nia Wilson on a commuter train platform says her client is not mentally fit to stand trial.

Lawyer Christina Moore on Thursday told a judge that John Lee Cowell suffers from severe delusions and paranoia. She said he was released from a maximum security facility for mentally ill convicts less than three months before Wilson and her 26-year-old sister were attacked while changing trains on July 22 on a Bay Area Rapid Transit platform. Wilson’s sister recovered.

Prosecutors say Cowell randomly attacked the sisters. He is eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

Cowell didn’t enter a plea Thursday and was ordered to return to court Dec. 27 to consider his lawyer’s mental competency claims.

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